Friday 9 December 2016

Ireland will not be taking Gibraltar lightly, vows Quinn

Tom Rooney

Published 03/09/2015 | 02:30

Ireland's Stephen Quinn
Ireland's Stephen Quinn

Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Quinn has said that preparations for Friday's vital Euro 2016 qualifier with Group D minnows Gibraltar have been more intense than usual.

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When the Reading star was asked whether or not there was a risk of the Irish players overlooking a side that had yet to earn a point, and who they thumped 7-0 in the corresponding tie last October, he immediately dismissed the notion.

In fact, the 29-year-old claimed that the usual recreation afforded to players when on Irish duty had been significantly abbreviated, in a bid to narrow the squad's focus as they look to close the gap on third-placed Scotland.

"Everyone has to stay on their toes as you could get lackadaisical," he said. "If the team you are playing against aren't great, you think you could get a walkover.

"The lads wanted a round of golf this week and that was knocked on the head as we wanted to concentrate on these two games that are really big for us in the grand scheme of things. The lads did go to the cinema on Tuesday night but the golf was knocked on the head and that was that."

Quinn, along with Shay Given and Robbie Keane, opted against joining their team-mates in seeing 'Straight Outta Compton', in favour of watching Dundalk's 2-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers. He was adamant, though, that there were minimal distractions this week, even if victory over the game, but very limited, Gibraltar is all but certain.

"They are what they are, Gibraltar. They are having a good lash at it to be fair to them but we should be beating these and beating them comfortably, going by all the last games they played. We will prepare like we always prepare, the details going into the videos and watching them again.

"You have to get out of the traps early, get the goals early and finish off the game. We don't want any upsets - we don't want them getting any confidence in the game. We need to get early goals and kill the game early, get it done and we can concentrate on the big game on Monday(Georgia)."

Quinn, who joined Championship side Reading from Hull City on a free transfer after the were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, believes Ireland are yet to perform for a full 90 minutes in the campaign to date, and that they have been too slow in asserting themselves in games; mistake which must not be repeated at the Estádio Algarve.

Confidence

"We start a bit hesitant so let's hope we can start quickly against Gibraltar and get some goals early. That will get the confidence going among the squad.

"With these games there is a bit of pressure because 100pc we should be beating them. I don't see why we shouldn't go out and enjoy the game, try and get as many goals we can and express ourselves."

Prior to kick-off, Ireland will know exactly where they stand in terms of qualification for France. With Scotland facing Georgia in Tbilisi in the evening's first game, Martin O'Neill's side are two points behind the Scots, so an unlikely favour from the Georgians would be ideal.

According to Quinn, there will be little thought given to the bigger picture until Gibraltar have been overcome.

"If we just concentrate on ourselves now, you never know what will happen in the other games.

"Get the result against Gibraltar and then look at the result of Scotland game."

Irish Independent

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